BY JON E. DOUGHERTY
John Christopher Stevens was born in Grass Valley, Calif., in 1960, the oldest of three children born to Jan S. Stevens, a Superior Court judge and city councilman who rose to become the state’s assistant attorney general, and Mary J. Stevens, a Chinook Indian and cousin of tribal elder Catherine Troeh, a historian, artist and Native American activist.
By the time he reached his formidable years, Stevens appeared to develop an interest in foreign affairs. During the summer of 1977, before eventually graduating from Piedmont High School the following year, for example, he became an AFS Intercultural Programs exchange student in Spain. After graduating with a B.A. in history from the University of California-Berkeley a few years later, he decided to teach English as a Peace Corp volunteer in Morocco.
Eventually he set his professional sights higher, but always with an eye cast over the American horizon. He went back to school and graduated with a law degree from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law in 1989. Much later, in 2010, he would receive a masters from the National War College; along the way he would learn to speak Arabic and French as well.
Stevens became an international trade lawyer and made his home in Washington, D.C. Still not satisfied and seeking to aim higher, he decided to join the United States Foreign Service in 1991, where, from his first assignments, he began learning the intimacies and intricacies of life and culture in the Middle East.
Early assignments included deputy principal officer and political section chief in Jerusalem, Israel; political officer in Damascus, Syria; consular/political officer in Cairo, Egypt; and consular/economic officer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Back in Washington, Stevens would serve as the director of the Office of Multilateral Nuclear and Security Affairs; Pearson Fellow with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; special assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs; Iran desk officer; and staff assistant in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.
He had service twice in Libya: once as deputy chief of mission (2007-2009) and as Special Representative to the National Transition Council (March 2011-November 2011) during the Libyan revolution.
His third and final assignment in Libya – and, as it would turn out, his final assignment, period – was as U.S. Ambassador to the North African nation, a role he assumed in May 2012 following an appointment by President Barack Obama.
As you can see, most of Ambassador Stevens’ life was spent in service to his country. Most of his professional career was spent as a student of or emissary to the Middle East.
It’s safe to say he knew his job – his continual upward mobility would suggest that. More than that, however, what is patently clear is that he knew the Middle East.
He knew, for instance, that in the weeks leading up to his murder, the security situation in and around Benghazi, the seat of Libyan revolution, was deteriorating.
He requested better security. He made multiple requests. He knew, as a seasoned Middle East expert and U.S. representative, that the security situation there, fed by the same “Arab Spring” extremists leading anti-regime protests throughout the region, was growing worse.
So he asked for more help in security the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, where al Qaeda was gathering.
He was denied. Repeatedly.
On Sept. 11, 2012, Ambassador John Christopher Stevens became the first American diplomat to die in office since 1988, when U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Lewis Raphel was killed in a plane crash.
For all the world it appears as though he was sacrificed at the altar of political expediency by a president who has repeatedly demonstrated, by his comments and actions, that he adores the cause of Muslim extremists more than he respects the sanctity and security of his own people.
Think about that and remember, as you head to the polls today, that this brave public servant not only gave his life for us and for his country, but for also for a president who doesn’t even have the courage to tell us exactly how he died.
The Moral Liberal Contributing Editor Jon E. Dougherty is a former news editor and columnist for WND.com, Newsmax.com, & contributor at CNSNews.com. He has served as a policy analyst for Citizens United & Freedom Alliance, & is the author of the books, Election 2000: How the Military Vote Was Suppressed & Illegals. Jon has a bachelors of arts in political science.
The Moral Liberal recommends Jon E. Dougherty’s Illegals: The Imminent Threat Posed by Our Unsecured U.S.-Mexico Border.